Can You Freeze Polenta? Yes, But Follow These Rules
Polenta is a delicious substitute for bread and it is a great accompanying side dish. It’s also fairly easy to make, although all the stirring and attention it requires can make many folks think twice about making it often.
Whether you want to make more polenta to have in the long run or you just made too much and want to save some for another day, freezing your polenta can be a great way to save time and money.
Can You Freeze Polenta?
Polenta fans know just how delicious it can be, especially paired with fish, poultry, or other meats, or simply combined with cheese and fried eggs. One of our readers messaged us asking about whether or not polenta can be frozen. Here’s the message we received:
My family eats traditional polenta on a regular basis, but it’s time consuming to make. I usually save making it for weekends because of all the standing over the stove and stirring, which I just don’t have the energy for during the week.
I would like to be able to enjoy polenta with my family any day of the week, without all the fuss involved in making it. I would prefer to be able to make a large batch, and then save some servings for later. The only way I can think of doing that is by freezing it. Can you freeze polenta?
Yes, you can freeze polenta. Depending on how you prefer to eat it, you can either serve it in pieces or in a large portion. Polenta is essentially cornmeal cooked in water. Sometimes butter, cream, or other sauces are added to the finished product.
It can be eaten thickened and cut into slices, or in a creamier state. To avoid excess ice crystals from forming, place polenta in the coldest part of the freezer to speed up the freezing process.
How to Freeze Polenta?
To freeze polenta in either form, you’ll have to go through a few steps.
For polenta that will be eaten in slices:
- First pour out the polenta in a shallow container lined with parchment paper, spreading the polenta out with a spatula.
- Allow the polenta to cool completely in the fridge before cutting it into the desired shapes with a plastic knife.
- Then, remove the pieces and place slices of parchment paper in between each slice.
- Wrap the stacks of slices in a double layer of plastic wrap, and then place them in a freezer bag.
- Squeeze out the excess air and then seal and label the bags.
To freeze polenta in its creamier form:
- Cook the polenta without additional sauces or ingredients, but keeping in mind to add them after thawing the polenta at a later date.
- Pour the polenta into a container and place in the refrigerator.
- Once the polenta is cooled, it will be semi-solid and should retain its shape.
- Remove it from the container and wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap.
- Place the polenta in a freezer bag, remove the excess air, then seal and label the bag.
How to Keep Polenta for Longer?
One of the things you can do to make sure you keep polenta frozen for longer, and in the best conditions, you should take into consideration using a vacuum sealer.
Vacuum sealers are great because they can take out all the air from the bags and offer a perfect seal to whatever you’re trying to freeze. We have a soft spot for FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine as it works with both containers and freezer bags. In the long run, you’ll be saving time and money.
How to Thaw Polenta?
Polenta is delicious even when you take it out of the freezer. However, the way you can thaw it out depends on how you froze them.
Thawing Sliced Polenta
- To thaw, remove the polenta from the freezer, then reheat in a frying pan or in the oven.
Thawing Creamy Polenta
- To thaw, remove the polenta from the freezer and reheat it in a saucepan, adding any extra ingredients at this time.
If you don’t know how to make polenta, our advice is to check the indications on the label regarding the ratio between water and cornmeal. For the most part, you’re going to have a 1 to 4 cornmeal to water ratio.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 4 cups water
- Put water and salt into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Add in the cornmeal and start stirring to make sure there are no lumps.
- Once the cornmeal is mixed in well, reduce the heat and continue stirring for about 5 more minutes.
- When the spoon or whisk stands up on its own in the polenta, you can add the butter and mix in again.
- Give it a few more minutes to boil and transfer to a plate.
You can also add Parmigiano or another type of cheese.